I didn’t think it could get any better — and maybe it hasn’t, but that meal was the genesis for this lip-smacking and unique sweet and savory pesto.
With such an extravagant meal (not to mention ?# glasses of champagne), I could not finish my lobster so I went home with leftovers (the whole tail and 2 claws). I know that’s what most people eat first but I’ve always had a “Hoover” approach to eating lobster, sucking out the carcass and going from there.
So one day not long after the holiday (who could wait?), I popped the tail out of the freezer for my dinner.
My plan was to just have it on bed of arugula with a vinaigrette. That was the plan. But once I started pulling out ingredients to make a vinaigrette, my mind went to a pesto I’d been thinking about for a while.
Like an old Italian nonna, I make pesto with my hands and eyes.
large handful or two of fresh Italian parsley
small handful of dates
small handful of almonds
1 small garlic clove
1 star anise
about 1 tsp of fennel seed
splash of rice vinegar for acid
…but, the popular method for pesto is 2 cups of herb to 1/2-2/3c of olive oil, 1/4c of nuts and 1/2c grated cheese plus seasonings.
Note: For this pesto, I changed up the usual dry seasonings and I did not add cheese — so maybe it could also be considered a savory jam, but in my head it was pesto…and you’ll see why below.
I don’t have the proverbial sweet tooth but I do have a penchant for sweet when it’s mixed with savory — and especially if that sweet is fruit-derived, like from dates, figs or prunes. This pesto, jam, spread, whatever you want to call it, is a perfect example of that flavor balance.
Linguine with date-almond pesto and fried bread crumbs was the best thing I ever ate…recently!
This is my entry for More Than Burnt Toast’s event which Val promises will spotlight ‘knock-your-socks-off’ dishes from bloggers. To be published the end of February.
A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It's all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards...eating!
I've always been a culinary improvisor which means I get my kicks out of recipe development. In the FOODalogue kitchen each meal is an adventure and the journey is as exciting as the destination. My favorite kitchen tools are imagination and intuition. I rarely look at a recipe, not even my own!
On these pages, I suggest food pairings and techniques to be experimented with...in your own kitchen...to your own spice levels...and to your preferred portion sizes.